I thought of the day I said: “The wind will not blow my hair anymore.”

In the world of conservative people, the adulthood of a young girl begins when she has her first period. When I was in the sixth grade, I had my period for the first time, and thanks to my radical Islamist parents, they allowed me one more year -probably- to live my childhood. Following the summer of sixth grade, when they gave me a piece of a scarf and said, “You will not go out without wearing this,” I felt so sad. I cried and said I didn’t want to wear it. Of course, I couldn’t resist. On that day, I wrote in my diary, “No more hair blowing in the wind…” I had no escape. I had to do what they wanted.

While I was just getting used to the headscarf, I had enrolled at Imam Hatip High School*. Since I chose not to leave, but to take it, going to Imam Hatip didn’t seem as heavy as wearing a headscarf. I finished high school with the thought that everything is going to be okay when I grow up. And I got accepted into the major I want. I started university with my hair covered. I know I’m going to uncover one day, but it saddens me that this date is too far ahead. I feel a lot of anger both to myself and my family for spending my youth years without self-esteem.

One day, I thought of the day I said: “The wind will not blow my hair anymore.” As if the child version of me was upset with me. And I said, “No, it will.” I took off my headscarf secretly, and the day happened to be very windy. I was so happy when I felt my hair on my face and eyes. When I started to do this from time to time, I realized that I can continue it. At one point, I told my family that I want to uncover my hair. It was an act of insane courage to say that. They said they would lock me in, and they would not let me go to school. I wasn’t surprised.

I decided to take off my scarf when I go out without their knowledge by saying that it wasn’t mine but their problem to not accept me as the way I am.

I uncovered my hair at school, too, wore whatever I wanted. After all these years I felt like me, it felt like I had just met myself. It was a priceless feeling.

Even if I continue to play a double game, I promise myself, my hair will not be windless, very soon.

*Imam Hatip schools are educational institutes in Turkey where people are trained for religious professions such as imams.

**We were not able to find the owner of the image we shared. If you know, you can comment on its source.

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